Founder of the Institute of Charity: 1797-1855
+ Antonio Rosmini Serbati was born in Rovereto in the former Austrian Tyrol. As a young man he studied law and was ordained a priest in 1821. The following year he received doctorates in canon and civil law.
+ In his early years of priesthood, he recognized the need for complete abandonment to God’s Will and began to realize that his vocation was to be open to any work of charity “so long as it is God’s Providence that presents it.”
+ In 1828, Rosmini founded a new religious community which he called the “Institute of Charity” (commonly known as the Rosminions). The institute spread quickly in England and Italy. The members devoted themselves to preaching, teaching, and works of charity. He later founded a community for women: The Rosmini Sisters of Providence.
+ Rosmini became involved in politics and was a prominent figure in the move for Italian unification. He was also invited to serve in the Roman Curia by Blessed Pope Pius IX.
+ A gifted philosopher and prolific author, Rosmini had many enemies within the Church who saw his writings as being a threat to the status quo. Two of his books, including the highly controversial Of the Five Wounds of the Holy Church, were condemned and placed on the Church’s Index of Forbidden Books. It would be 20 years before his writings would be accepted as free from doctrinal errors.
+ Rosmini developed a complex philosophical system which tried to bridge the gap between Catholic and secular philosophy.
+ After years of teaching, writing, and pastoral work, Antonio Romsini died on July 1, 1855. He was beatified in 2007.
Pope Saint John Paul II praised Rosmini as a modern Catholic thinker who promoted “a process of philosophical inquiry which was enriched by engaging the data of faith” (from Fides et Ratio).
“The spirit of religion is shown by the way both external observance and internal devotion flourish side by side; because when a man is genuinely full of the Spirit he cannot help showing it in his outward behavior.”—Blessed Antonio Rosmini
To learn more about the Rosminions, visit: http://www.rosmini.org/
O God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls,
who set blessed Antonio in the Church
to feed your sheep by his words and form them by his example,
grant that through his intercession
we may keep the faith he taught by his words
and follow the way he showed by his example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.